The experimental design that will be used for this outcome evaluation will be a time-series design. Savvy Caregiver participants will be assessed upon initial enrollment into the program, then again immediately after completion of the program, then once again 1-month after completing the program. This experimental design “allows the evaluator to detect trends.If there is a trend in the data, this gradual process would apparent. It could be observed prior to the start of the intervention and monitored afterward” (Royse et al, 2010, p. 226)
This outcome evaluation face three threats to internal validity. “Maturation is a threat when subjects age, gain experience, or grow in knowledge, all as part of a natural maturation experience, and therefore may respond differently on the posttest than on the pretest” (D. Joosten, personal communication, 2014) As many of the Savvy Caregiver participants are older adults and an older adult’s mental, emotional and social health could change drastically over time. These changes cannot be controlled and therefore, the changes seen from the initial assessments to the reassessments may not be due to the Savvy Caregiver program. Another threat to internal validity is testing, which is a threat when the same test is administered sequentially a number of times, and the participant receiving the intervention shows improvement in his or her scores as a result of figuring out correct responses on test (Royse et al, 2010) Since we will be using the same surveys for the initial assessment and the reassessments, an improvement in scores may be due to taking the same survey multiple times. Lastly, multiple treatment interference may be a threat to this outcome evaluation. Many of the Savvy Caregiver participants will be receiving other services from the Alzheimer’s Association, such as support group or care consultation program. Therefore, it will be difficult to determine that the changes seen in the Savvy Caregiver participants is solely due to their participation in the program.
There are a couple of threats to internal validity that are not applicable to this outcome evaluation. History is not a threat because all Savvy Caregiver participants would be affected by the same historical events. Selection bias is also not a threat because only one group is being assessed.
This outcome evaluation will use the following sampling strategy: non-probability convenience sample. “Samples of convenience are close at hand and accessible” (Royse et al, 2010, p. 195)
The group of participants will be assessed both prior to the intervention and after the intervention. This allows the outcome evaluation to address questions of change over a certain amount of time for a single group of participants. The advantage of a cohort analysis is that it reduces the number of difficulties associated with comparing two distinct groups. However, the disadvantage to utilizing only one set of clients is the...